Officer Cleared in Deadly Shooting at Midland Restaurant

Officer Cleared in Deadly Shooting at Midland Restaurant

An off-duty cop who shot and killed an armed man during a robbery attempt has been cleared, according to police.
MIDLAND, TX (Local Big 2 News) - An off-duty detective who shot and killed an armed man inside a Midland restaurant last month has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to police.

A Midland county grand jury issued a "no bill" ruling following an investigation. Back on June 27, police say Nyocomus Garnett, 35, entered through the back of La Bodega restaurant around 9:30 p.m. and went into the kitchen with a gun, trying to rob the business. Garnett then began firing the gun in the kitchen, police say.

Off-duty detective James Cox was eating at the restaurant and confronted Garnett as Garnett left the kitchen. Police say Garnett refused to comply with Cox's demands and pointed the gun toward Cox. Cox then shot Garnett who was later pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured.

Cox was placed on administrative leave, as policy requires, police say. The Texas Rangers conducted an investigation, and Midland police launched an internal investigation.

An internal Midland police administrative review board met on July 10 and found Cox to be in compliance with all state and federal laws and department policy.

Police tell us that Cox has been with the Midland Police Department since August 2007.

Full Story:

Midland, TX (Local Big 2 News) - An armed man entered through La Bodega's back kitchen door one Friday night in June.

Police say 35-year-old Nycomus Garnett wanted money, threatened the restaurant's employees and then fired several shots.

"I couldn't stop thinking of them and I was like, I mean anything could have happened to them," said Aracely Soto, an employee of La Bodega. 

Soto vividly remembers being in the kitchen and being scared that night.

Then an off-duty Midland officer steeped in. 

"His training kicked in, just how he was trained, he reacted just how he was trained," said Midland Police Chief Price Robinson.

Chief Robinson says Detective James Cox was off-duty having dinner at La Bodega when he heard the gunfire.

Police say Detective Cox confronted Garnett after he heard the shots, telling him to put the gun down.

When Garnett refused, Detective Cox fired his gun. 

"Kept a situation, potentially dangerous situation from occurring," Chief Robinson said. 

Chief Robinson says while it's not mandated that off-duty officers carry their guns, it is strongly encouraged. 

"People at that restaurant will probably call heroic," Chief Robinson said.

A grand jury cleared Detective Cox of any wrong doing. 

And Chief Robinson says he never doubted the detective's actions. 

"I mean they're a police officer 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I think this incident right here will have more officers that maybe didn't carry, to think twice about it," Chief Robinson said. 

"He saved a lot of us on that night, just because he had his gun," Soto said. 


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